US Appeal Court Rules Restaurants Must Label High Salt Menu Items

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14 Feb 2017 --- A US appeal court has upheld a ruling that says chain restaurants in New York City must flag up menu items with high sodium content by showing a salt-shaker icon to indicate the dish has more than a full day’s recommended dose of sodium.

The National Restaurant Association originally filed the suit to appeal against an earlier call for the salt-shaker icon to be applied to foods that are high in sodium. However, the decision was taken last week and will be applied to menu items with more than 2,3000 milligrams or around a teaspoon of salt. 

Health experts in New York City have welcomed the upholding of the legislation claiming it’s a victory for health as high sodium intake can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 

American Heart Association (AHA) CEO Nancy Brown comments on the decision:  “The AHA applauds the New York Supreme Court’s ruling on sodium warning labels. This is a welcome resolution to more than a year of debates over whether or not certain chain restaurants in New York City should inform patrons about high sodium content in their foods,” she says.

“This is a victory for consumers, who are better empowered to make choices about the foods they eat.  It will undoubtedly help New Yorkers lower their risk of high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.  Hopefully, other cities across America will follow New York City’s inspiring example and do what’s right for the health of their citizens.”
“Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration is already advancing voluntary targets for the nation’s food industry to limit sodium in processed foods.  We are committed to working closely with multiple organizations and stakeholders to support the FDA’s efforts, and to build on the powerful momentum ensuing from today’s ruling in New York City.”

She adds how Americans eat almost double the amount of the daily recommended sodium, which is why the AHA is leading the way to help everyone “Break Up with Salt” – the association’s sodium reduction campaign.

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